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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Sep 17;99(19):12449-54. Epub 2002 Aug 29.

Serotonin mediates food-odor associative learning in the nematode Caenorhabditiselegans.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Neurobiology Research Group, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 1A8. bill.nuttley@utoronto.ca

Abstract

We demonstrate that Caenorhabditis elegans is able to form an association between the presence of the odorant benzaldehyde and the food content of its environment. When exposed to 100% benzaldehyde for 1 h in the absence of food the naive attractive response is reduced, and we have found that this olfactory adaptation is attenuated by the presence of food. Contrary to nonassociative (single stimulus) learning theory, this response is not a function of the total time of exposure to benzaldehyde but rather an associative function of the ability of benzaldehyde to predict a nutrient-deficient environment. Genetic and pharmacological evidence revealed that the effects of food in this learning paradigm are mediated by serotonergic signaling.

PMID:
12202746
PMCID:
PMC129465
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.192101699
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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